Date: 10 September 2020 By: Andries van Zyl
Although the “hype” surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic may have quieted down a bit, South Africans are warned not to let their [virus]guard down.
On Monday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize reiterated the call for South Africans to continue adhering to safety measures against the coronavirus – despite the country’s recording fewer active cases. At that stage, South Africa remained in the top-10 list of countries with the most coronavirus cases after having recorded more than 638 000 infections and 14 000 Covid-19-related deaths. According to the ministry of health, nearly 564 000 people have recovered from the virus, with Mkhize saying that the current trend shows South Africa is in an encouraging situation.
Mkhize’s call on South Africans to continue to adhere to safety measures, which include the now-mandatory wearing of a face mask in public areas, as well as the washing of hands and social distancing, comes amidst the relaxation of lockdown regulations to Level 2. With citizens now allowed greater movement, many people have started to experience a false sense of security that the Coronavirus threat has diminished.
Government has warned, however, that this is not the case. “I think we mustn’t try and predict that there won’t be a second wave; we must act in a way to prevent the second wave. Because there is no clear scientific evidence as to what is happening, the main thing that we can rely upon is our own measures, where everyone assumes this virus is around, so put your mask on,” said Mkhize in a media interview with Morning Live.
According to the latest statistics issued by the Department of Health in Limpopo on Wednesday afternoon (9 September), Limpopo has, to date, recorded 13 746 Covid-19 cases, of which 12 990 have recovered and 499 are still active. This has brought Limpopo’s recovery rate to 94%. Sadly, 257 Covid-19-related deaths have been recorded.
The “worst-performing” district in Limpopo has been the Capricorn District with 4 524 cumulative cases, of which Polokwane contributed 3 860 cases. To date, 99 people have died from the virus. In second place is the Waterberg District with 3 097 cases and 39 deaths, followed by the Sekhukhune District with 2 577 cases and 40 recorded deaths. Fourth is Mopani District with 1 878 cumulative cases and 38 deaths, while the Vhembe District still has the lowest number of cases, standing at 1 665.
Of these 1 665 cases in Vhembe, the most came from the Thulamela Municipality with 636 cumulative cases, of which 593 recovered (a 93,2% recovery rate), while 22 were still active. They have recorded 21 (3,3%) Covid-19 deaths to date. The Makhado Municipality was in a close second place with 614 cumulative cases, of which 551 recovered (89,7% recovery rate) and 50 cases were still active. To date, Makhado has recorded 13 (2,12%) Covid-19-related deaths.
The third-highest number of Covid-19 cases were recorded in the Collins Chabane Municipality with 242 cumulative cases, 220 recoveries (90,9%), 16 active cases and six deaths (2,48%). Lastly, 173 cases were recorded in the Musina Municipality, with 165 recoveries (95,4%), seven active cases and one recorded death (0,5%).
Vhembe seems to be performing well in terms of recovery rates, with the national recovery rate standing at 88,6% on Tuesday. However, just to confirm that residents should remain cautiously vigilant of the Coronavirus, Limpopo recorded 28 new cases in the 24-hour period leading up to the release of the statistics on Wednesday. These included 17 cases in Capricorn, three each in Mopani, Vhembe and Waterberg, and two in Sekhukhune.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.